Hend Sabry's Acting Debut
Dubai International Film Festival Places The Silence of the Palaces at the Fifth Position on the List of the Top 100 Most Important Arab Films
The Dubai International Film Festival has released a book of Arab Cinema titled Cinema of Passion: Dubai's list of the 100 Most Important Arab Films. The Silence of the Palaces, which has witnessed Hend Sabry's acting debut, ranked the fifth on the list.
Compiled with input from over 475 of the region's and international most prominent film critics, writers, novelists, academics, and other arts professionals, the top 100 film list is accompanied by a critical and historical approach to Arab cinema and an analytical study for the list according to Arab epistemological, sociological, and political. In addition the book includes a scholarly and critical treatment of each film on the list by 20 prominent Arab film critics in English and Arabic, including historical data, information on the productions, and background on the key creatives that made the films possible.
Silences of the Palace is produced in 1994 and is the cinematic debut of both Hend Sabry and director Moufida Tlatli. Co-written by Tunisian Directors Nouri Bouzid and Moufida Tlatli, the film received Camera d'Or Prize at Cannes Film Festival in 1994. In October, 2013, the film was also screened as part of the Debut Films by Arab Makers programe at the 7th Abu Dhabi Film Festival with the attendance of Hend Sabry.
The film is about a 25-year-old woman, Alia, who returns to her place of birth-a prince's palace in which her mother worked as kitchen hand and mistress. As she wanders through the largely abandoned palace she is confronted by childhood memories. As Alia, now a singer in post-colonial Tunisia, looks back at her childhood in the palace in the 1960's, she must come to terms with the meaning of her mother's life and the tradition of bondage she's attempting to escape.
On her role in the film, Hend Sabry commented, "this film is my debut acting role and I believe it was an important step taken in the beginning of my career as an actress. I absolutely enjoyed collaborating with Tunisian Director Moufida Tlatli whom I consider my second mother. I believe the film is one of the most important Arab cinema classics".
Honoring her achievements as one of the most prominent actresses in the Arab film industry, Hend Sabry was included on the list of The Six Most Charming Tunisian Women in the World, which has been arranged by Morocco's French-speaking edition of the Huffington post. The website has noted that Hend is the first Tunisian woman from the Maghreb to be chosen as Garnier's brand ambassador in the MENA region and that she's also is appointed as UN World Food Programme Ambassador against Hunger in developing countries and specifically in the Middle East.
Hend was also included in the CEO Middle East magazine's list of the world's top 100 most powerful Arab women in 2013. The list included a number of prominent Arab women who have many regional and international achievements in different fields.
As an actress, Hend participated in Damascus International Film Festival as a jury member in the Feature Film Competition in 2007. Similarly, in 2012, she was the head of the feature narrative jury at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival where she supported independent Arab filmmakers. In October 2012, Sabry was the Co-director of the 2nd TROPFEST Arabia, the world's largest short film festival, which was held in Abu Dhabi where she selected sixteen finalists with the festival director John Poulson.